After Death, And Beyond The Rational: Man, Divinity, And Reincarnation

Fallen angel statue

Assumptions are inevitable and unavoidable. One assumes that other drivers are not going to run stop signs and red lights. One assumes that the floor one was standing on yesterday will not give way today. The food that sustained us yesterday will not poison us today. We make innumerable assumptions on faith without evidence, or […]

A Global Shift in Consciousness? The Myth of Progress in Modern Spirituality

Journalist Chris Hedges has observed the “myth of progress” in the moral and political sphere. His bitterness is come by honestly; he has been embedded with military units in multiple international conflicts, seen the systemic injustice of our supposedly just nation, and reported with due urgency on the rapid feudalization of 21st century America. In […]

Gnosis And The Modern World

One of the most uncomfortable and overlooked ideas in the modern occult and noveau spiritual environment is the subject of illusion. Everyone seems to be searching yet no one can agree upon what the ultimate goal is to be discovered. Today, it seems as if the mystical voice of the ancient traditions is being drowned […]

Esotericism, Freemasonry, And Confusion In The Lodge

Esoteric spirituality and religion

“Esotericism” has come to be a kind of “catch all” phrase for alternative and non-Western spirituality, Freemasonry, the occult, and so on, not least of all as a way of making subjects previously taboo within academia acceptable subjects of research for books and PhD theses. While we will undoubtedly learn more and more about once obscure […]

Is Neo-Paganism Masonic? Is Freemasonry Pagan?

Freemasonry and modern witchcraft.

A few years ago I came across the founders of several Germanic-type neo-pagan and esoteric Orders. While I’m not prepared to name them publicly (since they would not want their spiritual activities to be widely known), I can say that all three were Freemasons, though only one of these had been a member of the Masonic […]

Anarchists Of Style: A Review Of Maureen Callahan’s Champagne Supernovas

Goth style by Alexander McQueen

“I hate fashion,” Yohji Yamamoto — famous for his minimalist black clothing — has said. Maureen Callahan’s latest book, Champagne Supernovas, focuses, on two other designers — Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs — and model Kate Moss, but the aggressive sentiment neatly sums up an attitude that runs, in a certain way, through the book […]

The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel. Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as […]

We Are All Prudes Now: Why Outrage Has Replaced Outrageousness

Woman's face, Yaffa Cafe

A couple of weeks ago, New York’s Yaffa Cafe closed down after three decades. Grungy and camp, with Buddha statues, Elvis prints, damask wallpaper and leopard skin print tables, the East Village haunt was an over-the-top home to equally flamboyant misfits (wherever they’ve gone). When I first went there, in the late nineties, it was one […]